A brief tour of the wine bars in Budapest

Scris la 15 ianuarie 2016 in Povesti despre vin | Un comentariu

” Write on Vin2.ro ” – stories experienced by people who love wine. Today we have invited Eleonora Rusu
–-I proudly that I am a wine lover; I like travelling and have a real passion for Budapest. From my very first visit, I felt very good there and wanted to return… Kind of ‘’love at first visit’’.
––It was a very cold December afternoon when I first arrived there. After a 30-minute walk near the hotel, we concluded it was time to find a warm place. Outside was far too cold! We were looking for a nice place to drink some good Hungarian wine. Luckily, we quickly stumbled across the DiVino Wine Bar, in St. Stevens’s Place, a bar to which I remained very much attached and gladly visit each time I have the chance. I discovered some extraordinary red wines and a very relaxed atmosphere there; the staff was very knowledgeable about wine and the prices were quite reasonable. It would be fair to say that some of my next visits to Budapest had a visit to DiVino as main objective.
––-Still, after several visits, I began to wonder whether there were any other wine bars, just as nice, which were worth visiting. I admit that my curiosity was determined by the fact that I had recently started a wine bar tour in Bucharest. If I was visiting Budapest quite often, why not also take a wine bar tour there? My biggest problem was that I did not know any other wine bars and the internet wasn’t very helpful. I was lucky with a friend who knew the city well and provided me with a list of suggestions.
––I did my ‘’’homework’’ well before leaving: checking out the websites, menus and locations, in order to establish the best order in which to visit them. There were many locations for only four days and I wished to see them all if possible. I only wanted to taste Hungarian wines and, as the list was very long, I tried to choose in advance the wines which interested me the most.
––I started my visit in Budapest with a short walk through the park around the Palace, after which the first stop was Andante wine-bar, situated near the Chain Bridge. At first sight, it looked more like a restaurant than a wine bar but it had a very large wine selection, mainly from Hungary. The number of wines served by the glass was a smaller but of satisfactory diversity and the food was very good. I liked the fact that their staff knew quite a lot about wines and we could talk about this topic. The wines I tasted there were light, fresh and fruity, a perfect match for the chosen appetizers.
––Kadarka Wine Bar, situated close to the Opera, was next on the list. It looked like a typical wine bar, with a modern design and a very good selection of wines, mostly local ones. The food menu was quite appropriate for this type of location – enough to cover various food preferences. The atmosphere was pleasant and the wine-by-the-glass selection was quite wide. On the first evening there I tasted some light, fruity Syrah and Pinot Noir. On the second evening (as I couldn’t taste everything I wanted in one visit), I went for some more intense, full-bodied wines, with high levels of soft, ripe tannins and high alcohol levels. I liked an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon best – ‘Fekete’. It tasted like very ripe blackberries, dried plums, chocolate, very ripe, velvety tannins, with a long aftertaste and well integrated 15% alcohol.
–-On my list there was also Borkonyha Winekitchen, a restaurant awarded with one Michelin star, where I was lucky enough to find a table without a reservation (it was Monday at noon…). It is a small but elegant place, with a fantastic food menu – not so much by variety but by quality. The drinks menu contained only local wines – not a great number but of the best quality. I tasted various wines (as most of them were served by the glass) and among my favourites were Kreinbacher Syrah, Pava (a blend) and Gere Solus Merlot. They all seemed delicate, elegant, with medium to full body, typical varietal aromas and very ripe, soft tannins. Alcohol and acidity were also high but very well balanced. I definitely recommend this wine restaurant as a ‘’must have’ experience in Budapest. As for the price-quality ratio, it was very good.
–-An ‘off the list’’ location, which I stumbled on by chance, was Tastingtable, a wine bar focused mainly on organized tastings. More info about it is available here. It was situated further from the touristic centre, in a basement organized as a wine cellar. The wine selection was pretty large, with a wide diversity in both price and quality. They had some standard tasting wines which were served by the glass, presented and explained together with a wine region map of Hungary. The gentleman there was very well informed about wines and wine making, so we could also talk about topics such as grape varieties, soil, wine-making techniques and many other particularities of Hungarian wines.
–-I obviously could not help myself from returning to ‘my first love’, DiVino, which has meanwhile opened a second location near the Opera. There, tasted some of the best red Hungarian wines: Heimann Barbar, Gere Kopar, Kiss Gabor Code and Enigma are a ‘must taste’ there.
––Sadly for me, I could not visit all the wine bars on my list but, but maybe that’s all well and good: I still have some places left to visit in March, when I will go to VINCE.
As a general conclusion, I maintain my good opinion about Budapest, the places and the wines there – especially the reds. Still, what I liked best was that all Hungarian wines are highly promoted within the HoReCa area, and often have exclusivity in the drinks menu, which leads to the increased consumption of locally produced wines.

 

 

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–-Recunosc, cu mandrie chiar, ca sunt o iubitoare de vinuri, ca imi place sa calatoresc si ca am facut o pasiune pentru orasul Budapesta. De prima data cand l-am vizitat, m-am simtit foarte bine acolo si mi-am dorit sa revin…. Un fel de ‘’’dragoste la prima vizita’’.
–-Era o dupa-masa foarte rece de decembrie cand am ajuns acolo. Dupa o plimbare de nici 30 de minute in jurul hotelului am hotarat ca trebuia sa intram undeva. Prea frig. Pasionati fiind de vin, cautam, desigur, un loc unde sa bem un vin unguresc bun. Noroc cu wine-bar-ul in Piata Sf. Stefan – Divino, de care am ramas foarte atasata si pe care il vizitez cu drag de fiecare data cand ajung in zona. Am descoperit acolo vinuri rosii extraordinare, o atmosfera relaxata, personalul se pricepea foarte bine la recomandari iar preturile erau rezonabile. Ar fi corect sa spun ca urmatoarele vizite planificate la Budapesta aveau ca prim obiectiv acel wine-bar.
–-Totusi, dupa o lunga serie de vizite am inceput sa ma intreb daca nu mai erau si alte wine-bar-uri la fel de dragute care meritau vazute. Recunosc, curiozitatea a venit si in contextul in care am inceput un mic tur al wine-bar-urilor de prin capitala noastra. Daca tot mergeam des la Budapesta, de ce sa nu fac un tur si prin wine-bar-urile de acolo? Problema era ca nu cunosteam altele si nici internetul nu m-a ajutat prea mult. Noroc cu un prieten care cunostea bine orasul si care m-a ajutat cu o lista satisfacatoare de sugestii.
–-Mi-am facut ‘’temele’’ de acasa: am vizitat paginile de internet ale tutror barurilor sugerate, am inspectat meniul si le-am localizat pe harta pentru a crea o ruta optima. Erau destul de multe pentru 4 zile si vroiam pe cat posibil sa trec pe la toate. Doream sa degust exclusiv vinuri produse in ungaria si cum oferta era foarte ampla, am preferat sa studiez in avans meniurile ca sa aleg ce ma intereseaza mai mult.
–-Am inceput vizita in Budapesta cu o scurta plimbare prin parcul de la Palat dupa care prima oprire a fost barul Andante situat langa Podul cu Lanturi. La prima vedere, parea mai mult un restaurant decat un wine-bar insa avea o selectie extinsa de vinuri, in principal locale. Selectia de vinuri la pahar era putin mai restransa dar satisfacatoare iar mancarea foarte buna. Deasemenea mi-a placut faptul ca personalul nu era deloc strain de domeniul vinurilor, putand sa discutam cu el pe aceasta tema. Vinurile degustate acolo au fost lejere, placute si fructate, potrivite aperitivelor servite.
–-Urmatorul pe lista a fost Kadarka Wine Bar situat foarte aproape de Opera. Era destul de ‘’tipic’’ amenajat modern, cu o selectie foarte buna de vinuri predominant locale. Meniul era multumitor pentru acest tip de local – cateva aperitive foarte gustoase, care sa acopere o gama variata de preferinte. Atmosfera era foarte placuta si selectia de vinuri la pahar destul de mare. Am degustat in prima seara cateva vinuri mai light – Pinot Noir, Syrah, fructate, usoare iar a doua seara (pentru ca nu am putut incerca tot ce doream din prima) am degustat vinuri mai grele, corpolente, cu tanini foarte copti, catifelati si nivel de alcool ridicat. Cel mai mult mi-a placut un Cabernet Sauvignon ‘’Fekete’’ care a fost exceptional – mure coapte, prune uscate, cicolata, tanini foarte copti si catifelati, postgust lung iar acloolul de 15% nici nu se simtea.
–-Pe lista mai aveam recomandat si un restaurant ‘’dotat’’ cu o stea Michelin – Borkonyha Winekitchen unde am avut norocul sa gasesc masa fara rezervare (e drept ca era luni la pranz…). Este un restaurant micut, elegant, cu un meniu restrans dar absolut fantastic. Lista de bauturi era compusa doar din vinuri unguresti de foarte buna calitate. Am degustat mai multe sortimente de vin (deoarece aproape toate erau servite si la pahar) dintre care mi-au placut mult Kreinbacher Syrah, Pava (cupaj) si Gere Solus Merlot. Toate mi s-au parut fine, elegante, cu un corp mediu spre plin, arome placute, tipice soiurilor si tanini foarte catifelati. Aciditatea si alcoolul erau si ele ridicate insa foarte placut integrate in corpul vinului. Recomand cu siguranta acest wine-restaurant ca si experienta ce trebuie incercata in Budapesta! Cat despre raportul calitate-pret, a fost foarte bun.
–-Bonus, in afara listei, am gasit absolut intamplator un winebar profilat mai mult pe degustari organizate Tastingtable, despre care gasiti mai multe aici, situat intr-o zona mai putin circulata, la demisol, amenajat ca si o pivnita. Selectia de vinuri era destul de buna si variata atat din punct de vedere al calitatii cat si al preturilor. Existau cateva pachete de degustare cu vinuri ce erau servite la pahar, prezentate si explicate alaturi de o harta a Ungariei pe care erau marcate principalele zone viticole. Domnul care se ocupa de acest ‘’Tastingroom’’ era foarte bine documentat in ceea ce priveste vinurile si am putut sta de vorba cu el mai in amanunt legat de soiuri, clima, sol, tehnici de vinificare si alte particularitati ale vinuruilor unguresti.
–-Evident, nu m-am putut abtine sa nu revin la ‘’prima dragoste’’, Divino, despre care am descoperit ca si-a deschis o a doua locatie langa Opera. La ei pot spune ca am gasit si savurat cele mai bune vinuri unguresti: Heimann Barbar, Gere Kopar, Kiss Gabor Code si Enigma … ar fi cateva ‘’must taste’’ acolo.
–-Cu parere de rau nu am reusit sa vizitez toate locatiile recomandate dar tot raul este spre bine – voi mai avea ceva nou de vazut in martie, cand merg la VINCE.
–-Ca si concluzie, pot spune ca imi mentin buna parere legata Budapesta, locatiile de acolo si vinurile unguresti – mai ales cele rosii. Totusi, cel mai mult cred ca mi-a placut faptul ca isi promoveaza foarte intens vinurile locale in zona de HoReCa prin listarea exclusiv sau predominant a acestora in meniurile restaurantelor si wine-bar-urilor, ceea ce are ca efect final incurajarea consumului de vin propriu.

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Un comentariu

  1. Mie mi-a placut foarte mult la Borkatakomba, nu e chiar un Wine Bar, e ditamai restaurant-crama :)

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